Campaigns. It is important that I continue to know the strength of feeling on an issue and I prefer to respond to every inquiry, but the sheer size of campaign correspondence means that it is hard to justify to the tax payer the cost and time taken for individual written replies, so regrettably I will no longer reply to every item of campaign correspondence.  I will  post a response to the campaign on the "Responses to campaigns" page of my website.

I am sorry to do this, as it is rather impersonal, but can see no other way of maintaining a good service for all my constituents unless I approach campaigns this way.

03 MAY 2018

Non Proliferation Treaty and EDM 1122

Thank you very much for taking the time to email me about the 2020 Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the related EDM, number 1122.

I realise you would like me to sign EDM 1122, however like many MPs I do not sign any EDMs no matter how worthy the cause. This is because EDMs now cost a huge amount per year to administer and have no chance of changing the Law. They are in effect petitions which only MPs can sign. They have also been superseded by online petitions which can be on any issue for which the Government or Parliament is responsible and any which receive 10,000 signatures will receive a response from the Government. Those petitions which reach 100,000 signatures will almost always be debated in Parliament – unless it is an issue which has recently been debated. There are also concerns that EDMs may give a false impression that action is being taken.

Nonetheless, I hope the following information on this topic from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is of interest:

Britain is widely recognised as the most pro-active of the nuclear weapon states on nuclear disarmament. We have reduced our nuclear forces by over half from the Cold War peak in the late 1970s and recently reduced the number of deployed warheads on each submarine from 48 to 40 and the number of operationally available warheads from fewer than 160 to no more than 120. The UK remains committed to reducing our overall stockpile to no more than 180 warheads by the mid-2020s.
The Government will use the second Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference to engage with a variety of countries on this important issue. Ministers have said that work will be completed on how to tackle the challenges of non-proliferation and disarmament and how to allow for the peaceful use of nuclear technology.
It is important to build trust and transparency between those states with nuclear weapons, as only under these conditions can nuclear armed states feel confident and satisfied to relinquish their weapons. It is very welcome that the UK Government continues to call for all states to join the NPT as non-Nuclear Weapons States.

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